Sunday, January 22, 2012

Carsten Höller: Experience New Museum 235 Bowery 10002 New York. by craniv boyd.

Carsten Höller: Experience New Museum 235 Bowery 10002 New York. by craniv boyd.

When a Scientist becomes an artist, working today, making current art (S)he is more likely to make a big installation that numerous people can: feel, forget, then dismantle, rather than a tiny crayon drawing on acid free paper of an impossible flying machine like the renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci would do. Case and point with the disappointing viewing experience of Carsten Höller's one person spectacle, titled Experience, at the New Museum on the Bowery. 

The New Museum has, fashioned itself as an urbane, Disney World, for like the amusement park in Orlando, Florida, it has droves of children and parents alike lining up to take a ride on a carousel, a journey through a slide, or a dip in a pool. Granted there are no Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride, nor a life scaled plastic figure of Johnny Depp nor Penelope Cruz, partly because the fun house art, is geared at brainy people. The flavor of science hall participatory experiment appeals to the intellect in a way that is not without a sense of humor. 

After queuing up for, what was, on a rainy evening, close to closing time, one hour. The public can, slide down three levels of the New Museum, through, a room for one only, metal and plastic glass tube. This person scaled artery for a building deposits the member of the public on to a soft black cushion on the floor. Facing the black landing cushion two of the museum walls, are holding florescent lights á la Dan Flavin, blinking on and off at a seizure inflicting rate. Once the public finds their legs again after the adrenaline kick of Carsten Höller's, slide, they can contemplate life sized animals with glass eyes made of solid cast dyed silicone. The artificial animaliæ look sympathetic, each has a docile expression that could look, be interpreted as a weak smile. This is especially true for the blue ape, on his or her side that faces away from what I call the seizure lights. 

Further on the same level is a fish tank, which permits viewers to lay back and literally sleep with the fishes if they so choose. There are three cut arches built into the tank, accommodating room for an adults head plus a clear air filled pillow, so visitors can look up at fish swimming above eye level. 

The street level of the museum is where the public must furnish New Museum staff with their individual, John Hancock's, on legal waivers, giving their consent that they are participating in Experience at their own risk. In ascent of this, the museum spectator gets a colored wrist band, proof for the museum workers on the upper floors that they have singed the contract for the exhibition, that they are aware of the rules of it. Past the glass wall in the lobby cafe, is the most visually striking instance within, an art exhibition that is difficult to photograph. There are, replicas of mushrooms, scaled larger than a human being. Some of these fungi are edible, furthers are poisonous, whilst others contraband. The mushrooms models are in quarter and half pieces that are re-assembled so that walking around viewers can see, three to four different types of mushroom fused in one.   

The atmosphere at New Museum, during Carsten Höller's Experience, was convivial, almost too much so when contrasted with the somber, contemplative white cubes, where current art is usually presented. by craniv boyd.  

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